Saturday, October 1

Opel Astra PHEV: an all-purpose plug-in hybrid


The Opel Astra turns years and already celebrates six generations / FAQ

The model, with 180 CV of power, stands out for its low consumption, both in the city and on the highway

The Opel Astra joins the C segment where SUV models currently reign, like its ‘big brother’ the Grandland, but as an alternative for those who do not want to fall before the temptations of the most fashionable segment, with more sportiness and character. The truth is that due to its characteristics, the Astra is a very logical and balanced purchase, it has a modern design, great roominess (more than what is needed on a day-to-day basis), and a wide range of engines,
diesel, gasoline and plug-in hybridfrom 110 to 179 horsepower.

The
Vauxhall Astra reaches its sixth generation maintaining the reliability, comfort and bold design that have characterized the representative of the Opel philosophy since its inception in a strategic segment in the main European markets.

On this occasion we have tested the newest version, the plug-in hybrid variant, which in addition to having the DGT “Zero” badge for its emissions, becomes at the same time the most powerful variant in the range.

Actually this version is on paper the most suitable if our natural environment is the city, with 179 hp and a maximum torque of 360 Nm. In pure electric mode, it can travel up to 60 kilometers (WLTP) without emissions, which can increase to a figure close to 74 km in an urban environment.

During the test days we have made the same daily route (about 40 km) resorting to all the mechanical possibilities. That is, in 100% electric mode, in the “hybrid” position, and using the gasoline engine, once the battery is exhausted. And we have had several surprises.

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The first when using the electric mode, since taking advantage of the inertia and
regenerative braking It has not been difficult for us to reach the 74 km of autonomy approved in urban mode. This means that the round trip from home has only been done with the gasoline engine, so if we have a charger at home we can forget about going to the service station for several days.

The second, in hybrid mode, where again the approved consumptions were quite close to the real ones. Leaving the electronics to work, achieving an average consumption that did not reach two liters on average (1.1 is the approved figure) is quite remarkable.

But the big surprise was the consumption recorded near the end of the week, when we let the battery run out completely to check the consumption figures. In reality, whoever buys a plug-in hybrid vehicle should rarely drive in this way, but if we use the car for some other long-distance trip (such as on vacation), there will come a time when the batteries run out and we have to circulate with the additional ballast of the weight of the batteries. In this extreme case, and for the same route as in the previous cases, we did not get to exceed 5.5 liters of average consumption, this is a figure very similar to that of a vehicle with similar characteristics (dimensions and power) but without plug. We have no choice but to qualify this behavior as “outstanding.”

Habitability

With a length of 4,374 mm, a width of 1,860 mm and a boot volume of 422 litres, the sporty appearance of this new generation of Astra does not detract from its roominess. Five people fit perfectly with a trunk of very correct dimensions. Although those who need more space can wait a few more months for the family version
Sports Tourer, with a boot that starts from a volume of 597 litres. In the case of our plug-in hybrid version, we start with 352 litres, which can be increased to 1,268 by folding down the rear seats.

When we sit at the controls we find three large screens and a ‘head-up display’ that projects information on the windshield (such as the navigator map), but with the classic buttons that provide us with access to the most used functions without the need for get lost in menus through a screen.

At the wheel, it is supported by the most modern driver assistance systems, ranging from the head-up display, projected directly on the windshield, to the semi-autonomous Intelli-Drive 2.0 assistance system and the Intelli-Vision camera from 360 degrees. Like its predecessor,
has the power to turn night into day thanks to the latest evolution of IntelliLux LED Pixel matrix lighting, which has 168 diodes that light up depending on ambient light and traffic conditions.

Comfort is guaranteed above all through the excellent seats in the front seats with AGR certification and up to 16 adjustments.


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